September 2014 Monthly Roundup

Sigh... my birthday month is over, but it only means one thing - Christmas is almost here.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Just One Night (novella) by Gayle Forman
- The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
- Adultery by Paulo Coelho
- The Maze Runner series, The Maze Runner Missing Files by James Dashner
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Stardust
- The Giver
- Inkheart
- The Prince and Me
- The Maze Runner movie

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- MY birthday
- Triple birthday celebration with our CFC friends
- Gradeschool Family Day
- Boodle fight for double celebration of my birthday and Kuya Mike's

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I am thankful that I was able to manage my allergies this month

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Took a leave from work during my birthday to renew my license, heard mass, ate ramen and had my eyebrows fixed (*wink*)
- Had simple dinner (Chinese) with the family at night
- Dinner with Dad. He's here!
- Get together with CFC friends to celebrate Steph's, mine and Reg's birthday
- Went to the kids' school for the family day!
- Went to a recollection in preparation for a Confirmation (I'm a Ninang!)
- Households :)

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Ramen in Robinson's Galleria
- CYMA for dinner date with the Hubby (thanks hon!)
- Mesa for a quick lunch after the recollection
- Gostoso Kapitolyo for dinner
- Boodle Fight! (we brought Pixie's and BBQ)
- McDonald's Sausage Mc Muffin
- Mad Mark's
- California Pizza Kitchen's chicken BBQ salad and The Works! pizza

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- I bought a couple of personalized stuff for Christmas gifts

What have you learned this month?
- The recollection was really good for me. Here's the giveaway.

- I've had a couple of down days this month (especially towards the end of the month), probably hormones, probably stress but I felt like giving up and thanks to this article, I came across this message...

"I’m learning that nothing really is a mess. A puzzle dumped on the floor still amounts to a beautiful picture even if it doesn’t seem that way in the moment. There are a million metaphors for the way all the broken bits and pieces of life amount to something more than fragments with God.

I’m living right from the middle of all the questions. I don’t know that I’ll ever not be. What I do know is that His answers are greater and more abundant than the questions and His heart for me is a well of love deeper than I know."

- We don't have much of a choice but just hang in there and everything will fall into place. As long as you are hanging on to God, you are going to be ok, eventually. After all, if you are not ok, it's not yet over.

My birthday month was definitely fun! Sooooo, hello now October!

Europe 2014: Hello Milan!

Aaaaah, M.I.L.A.N... a quick trip to this city and it made me want to go back. Hopefully in a couple of years from now. We can stay for a night or two. I'm sure it would be another unforgettable trip.

Here are random photos that I took on our way to the Duomo.

Beautiful buildings all over the place.

What's this? Unfortunately our guide was busy so I wasn't able to ask what this structure is all about.

This is how it looks like from afar.

These beautiful flowers are just the perfect sign for spring. ♥♥♥

Purple bicycle? Aah, I just had to take a photo of this, the kids will definitely love to see this!

Motorcycle, anyone?

These are everywhere in Milan. There are more beautiful things to see in Milan. But I will have to post more soon. (*wink*)

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Gonna See Your Kingdom

Have a great day, everyone! Enjoy this beautiful song by Mikeschair.

GOD is GOOD! (*wink*)

10 Surprising Cholesterol Facts You May Not Know By Leyla Shamayeva

I would say hello weekend now and hello food trip, but before you go on with that, here are 10 facts that we need to know about cholesterol. For your good health, read on...

10 Surprising Cholesterol Facts You May Not Know By Leyla Shamayeva

Cholesterol is an animal product – This means that it is not found in plant foods. Rather, animal products like meat and dairy have the highest dietary cholesterol density.

Cholesterol is richest in egg yolks – One large egg contains 187 mg of cholesterol, about 62% of your daily-recommended intake. Per 100 grams of food, next highest are chicken liver, fish, shellfish, seafood (like shrimp), processed meats, and cheese.

Be mindful that the ingredients used to make ice cream, burgers, baked goods, mac and cheese, and even some beverages cause these foods to be high in cholesterol, too.

Cholesterol rich foods aren’t “bad” – Although it would make sense to completely omit these cholesterol-rich foods from your diet, the truth is that you don’t have to! Moderation is key. Foods like eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet if you are mindful of your portions and have a diet consisting of mainly healthy foods.

Cholesterol packaging can be misleading – A cholesterol free-food may still have saturated and trans fats, which play a larger role in affecting blood cholesterol levels. Make sure to read the entire nutrition label and don’t trust manufacturers claims for “cholesterol-free” foods!

Cholesterol isn’t the only "bad guy" - According to the American Heart Association, cholesterol is not the only nutrient that contributes to high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Make sure to be mindful of your saturated fat and trans fat intake. In fact, these play the larger role in increasing blood cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol has a limit – An upper limit, that is. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day, and no more than 200 mg if you have heart disease or high cholesterol levels. On the other end of the spectrum, there is no lower limit. In most cases, your liver makes enough of it to cover your needs, but...

Cholesterol levels can be low, too– While this fact is still being researched, most experts agree that levels below 160 mg/dL create health risks.

Cholesterol is influenced by your weight – Losing just 5% of your body weight can improve your blood cholesterol levels. Really, it’s not just the weight loss that plays a role –the diet and exercise (like yoga!) efforts are likely the bigger contributors.

Luckily, you can influence good and bad cholesterol levels separately. Olive oil, for example, helps lower overall cholesterol levels without hurting the good HDL levels. A diet full of saturated fats increases bad LDL levels and decreases good HDL ones.

Cholesterol can be seen
– Weight isn’t always an indicator of high cholesterol, but red and yellow bumps called xanthomas may be. These bumps can occur anywhere on the body, but are most common in elders, those with genetically high cholesterol levels, and those with additional health problems.

Cholesterol is a good guy – Despite the bad rep, your body actually needs cholesterol, which you liver produces. Among many functions, cholesterol contributes to cell structure and proper brain function.


Europe 2014: More Beautiful Sceneries as We Say Goodbye to Switzerland

We couldn't get enough of Switzerland. Wherever we looked, everything was just a BEAUTY.

As we went out of the city, we just let our eyes feast on the wonderful view.

Green grass and huge trees, definitely my favorite things in the whole world.

Aaaah, now I wonder what it feels like to stay in one of these old but beautiful houses?

I'm sure it would be BLISS.

And, look, here's our photo in a parking lot.

Yes, you read that right, this is just a parking lot for our stop-over but the view is just breathtaking, don't you agree?

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Words of God.
2. Hope. Love. Faith.
3. The kids' smiles. Hugs. Kisses.
4. Buttered Corn
5. Memories. Photos. Videos.
6. Coffee. Good breakfast. Midnight snacks. Pizza.
7. Online window shopping. Online shops. Free viewing of products.
8. Travels. Adventures. Excitement.
9. Milk tea. Conversations. Family bonding.
10. Books. YA. Chiclit. Romance. Religious. Inspirational.

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Oct. 6 is a Declared Holiday in the Philippines

It's time to plan out a family getaway soon, October 6 is a declared holiday in observance of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

(Updated 5:31 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III has declared October 6 as a regular holiday in observance of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

The declaration was made through Proclamation 875, signed by Aquino last September 12.

Republic Act 9849 mandates the President to declare Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival, a holiday.

According to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Eid al-Adha "honors Ibrahim (Abraham)’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) on the order of almighty Allah."

The festival is marked with prayer and ritual sacrifices of livestock, a portion of which will be distributed to the poor.

Eid al-Adha is commemorated after the Hajji, or the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. — Andreo Calonzo/KBK/RSJ, GMA News


Let's gow!!!

Europe 2014: Shopping Time at Lucerne, Switzerland

After a very exciting trip from Mt. Titlis, we went back to the small city of Lucerne. Did a couple of sight seeing again.

We just love looking at Mt. Titlis, this time, from afar...

Definitely a beauty! Now, it was time for my Dad's favorite "adventure" - shopping!

There are actually a LOT of things that you can buy in Lucerne but the major stuff that are really cheap are the Swiss watches and the Swiss chocolates. (*wink*)

I was able to get one for me and one for the Hubby.

There were also sweaters on sale that I was able to get hold off. It was a fun shopping day in Lucerne! ♥♥♥

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Someone worth Dying For

Here's a another beautiful song by Mikeschair...

♪♪ Oh, I want to believe, Oh, Jesus let me believe that I'm someone worth dying for....♪♪

♪ Your life has purpose.... ♪

Happy Sunday, peeps!

The Mockingjay Lives.

Oh my. This is it. The new trailer of Mockingjay (Part 1).

I don't think I could still wait until Octobber. Aaack!

See you soon, Katniss and Peeta! ♥♥♥

Europe 2014: More on Mt. Titlis View and the View from the Foot

We went outside the building (yes, we are still in Mt. Titlis) to experience more of the snow. Yes it was snowing!

But I only lasted for 5 minutes, I decided to go back to the warm place. Yes after bundling up with my winter attire, I still didn't last that long. (*grin*)

We had a quick lunch before we explored more of Mt. Titlis. I wasn't too hungry (because of excitement?) so I just had soup and sandwich. It was indeed a quick lunch. After a quick shopping, off we went down through the cable car again and we just saw the most beautiful view we've ever seen. ♥

Seeing these was so surreal! I've always dreamt of seeing this and that day was the day that I would claim God's promise. ♥

When we were at the foot of Mt. Titlis, the view was still as pretty.

We took a couple of photos then off we went back to Lucerne.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Busy but fun, fun weekend with friends and family!
2. Get together with our CFC friends for the September celebrants
3. Wine, Sausage and Cheese ♥
4. Long nap
5. Family Day in school. They won 2nd place. Woot! Woot!
6. Boodle Fight
7. BBQ/Adobo/Grilled Fish/Sausages
8. CFC Sponsored Mass last Sunday
9. eBooks
10. Family

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Europe 2014: Hello Mt. Titlis!

So yes, finally, we are up here in Mt. Titlis. We couldn't see anything but white all over but still, we can see snow everywhere!

I'm glad I wore two thermals, two pair of pants and socks, two hats, yes, everything I wore was doubled! It was too cold.

But the best experience we've ever had in this trip. ♥♥♥

Toddlers and Tablets: Helpful or Harmful? by Mariel Uyquiengco

I've always wondered if the tablets and all the other gadgets are actually safe and helpful to our kids. So, it is very timely that I came across this nice and interesting article at

Read on...

Toddlers and Tablets: Helpful or Harmful?
By Mariel Uyquiengco

Smartphones and tablets in the hands of babes are a common sight. Parents whip out the ubiquitous iPad when their child starts to whimper at the restaurant or even at the dining table at home. They say it helps to quiet them down, and after all, the apps that they are allowed to use are educational. But are tablets for toddlers really beneficial?

One of the things that my husband and I talked about when we first became parents was our stance on television. I’ve read about the policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraging parents to allow screen time for infants and children under two years old, and I was adamant that we follow it. When the tablets and smartphones came, we eschewed those too. Are our children the better for it? I believe so.

An Enriched Environment

A child’s brain develops rapidly in the first two years of life, and research conducted by Arnold Scheibel and Roderick Simonds demonstrates the impact of one’s early environment on brain development. In the book “Magic Trees of the Mind,” Marian Diamond, Ph. D., and Janet Hopson say that parents should provide their children an enriched environment that stimulates all senses and promotes “a broad range of skills and interests that are mental, physical, aesthetic, social, and emotional.”

Looking at the description of what an enriched environment is, I can say that tablets do not have a place in a young child’s hands. Still in its nascent stage, the full effects of the technology are not yet known. Going by the results of solid research on child development, such as Scheibel and Simonds’, it is still best to provide real-world experience. What children need is the opportunity to play with their whole bodies, to imagine, to self-entertain, to get muddy, to explore, and to fall in love with books.

Apps vs Real Life Experience

A look at Best Toddler Apps Org’s “Top 10 Toddler Apps 2013 for iPad” shows electronic versions of familiar childhood toys, games, and books. Examples are “Lego Duplo Zoo,” “Dr. Seuss ABC,” “Pocket Pond,” “The Going To Bed Book,” “Curious George at the Zoo,” “Planes, Trucks, Trains, and Boats,” and “Animal Touch Worlds.”

If you think about it, those apps are based on real books with pages that can be turned, toys that can challenge the imagination, and places that can be visited.

Some Tips

Tablets for toddlers may provide your child some entertainment and yes, he might even learn from it. If you find yourself in the “tablet trap” though and want ways to enrich your child’s learning environment, you can do well to provide him with rich experiences that engage all of his senses. You might want to do the reverse and take inspiration from the Top 10 Toddler Apps list. Here’s how:

1. Read to your child – The list has the iPad versions of “Dr. Seuss ABC,” “The Going to Bed Book,” and “Curious George At The Zoo.” How about you get the actual books and enjoy cuddling with your child?

2. Get blocks – Lego is a classic toy, and one that your child deserves to feel with his hands. There’s nothing better than seeing your child beam after building his first tower! And you are not limited to Lego. Go get wooden blocks that are open-ended and that will inspire your child’s imagination.

3. Go to a park or zoo – “Pocket Pond” is an app that simulates pond life. There might not be a lot of parks in Manila, but surely there are places where your child can enjoy nature!

Tablets, smartphones, computers, and TVs have places in our lives. Experts tell us that it is best to keep our children screen-free during their early years. There is no harm in waiting and letting our children engage with the world first. SOURCE.

I guess the key here is "moderation". If it is being used moderately then the kids are ok. (*wink*)

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Les Miserables Flash Mob

If this happens to me one day in my favorite mall, I wouldn't know what to do. Maybe I will cry.

Aaaah, too beautiful. Love, love it! ♥♥♥

The Maze Runner Coming Soon in October.

Here's another movie that I'm definitely in the big screens soon...

The Maze Runner. I have yet to read the book though. I heard it is "unputtable". I can't wait to have time to sit down and catch up on my reading.

Hopefully S.O.O.N.!

Europe 2014: On our Way to Mt. Titlis and our Cable Car Ride

We woke up to another uber cold weather (plus rain showers) on our second day in Lucerne. Look!

And we were going to an even colder place called Mt. Titlis. Aack! I can do this!

So after a sumptuous breakfast, we assembled in the hotel lobby to start off our trip to Mt. Titlis. We can't wait because we heard that Mt. Titlis is one of the highlights of our tour. So off we went, and the view on the way was perfect!

It is one of the most beautiful view I've ever seen. ♥

And when we arrived the foot of Mt. Titlis, it was snowing! It was a lovely surprise. Although it was veeryyy cold. We can't even begin to imagine, how cold it would be on top of it. Brrrrrr...
So, here we go...

Can you see that it's really snowing? Ah, this moment is so surreal!

It really is snowing! ♥♥♥

After a beautiful view and a couple of minutes in the cable car, we've finally arrived!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy weekend!
2. Recollection in preparation for our niece's Confirmation
3. Lunch at Mesa
4. Dad is here!
5. Fruits, fruits, fruits
6. Dinner at Gistoso
7. Yummy piri-piri chicken
8. Movie time with family
9. God is fixing our schedule
10. God provides! ♥

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Europe 2014: Arriving Lucerne on a Late Afternoon.

Lucerne, based on our first sight of the city, is simply breathtaking. Who would think it's not? Just check out our first sightings of this unforgettable small city...

It is a beauty, you think? Definitely! It got us even more excited. But, first, DINNER!

After the whole day of traveling on the road, we were so happy to see warm food.

...and practically a hotel restaurant empty, and reserved for our group.

Now, we felt relaxed and suddently felt at home in this cozy hotel. Look, I love the food too!

We were done late already. We were surprised that it took us hours to finish our dinner. By this time, we were already exchanging stories with our group. We had gotten to know each other well and we were quite comfortable already.

After freshening up, we went out, but unfortunately, it was drizzling and was dark already so we decided to go back to our hotel and call it a night.

Charleston: A City Steeped in History

Located right off of South Carolina’s coast, Charleston is well known for its impressive historic architecture, its gardens, and its warm and friendly people. This city is the very picture of Southern charm, and one of the best places to experience the South’s long and fascinating history.

Charleston was first settled in 1670, making it one of the country’s oldest and most historic cities. It was the site of the Civil War’s official beginning, and home to the nation’s first library.

Charleston also has a long religious history, and features a wealth of beautiful historic churches. This has earned it the nickname of “the Holy City.”

Charleston’s attractions, nightlife, history, beauty and overall charm have made it one of the country’s best and cities to visit.

What to See

Old City Market: The Old City Market is a 200-year-old Charleston institution. Open until 6 p.m. each day, 364 days a year, the Market is a perfect place to enjoy some sunshine and some shopping. Tourists and locals alike visit the more than 100 vendors who line the streets, selling everything from locally renowned sweetgrass baskets, to jewelry, to handmade crafts. If you’re dreaming of an iconic horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown, this is the place to take one.

Waterfront Park: Charleston’s coastline is one of its many charms, and Waterfront Park is the perfect way to enjoy it. Lounge under a palm tree on a classic park bench, watch ships come in and out of the harbor, stroll along the walkway or splash in the fountains on a hot day.

The Battery/White Point Gardens: One of Charleston’s most visited parks, The Battery serves as a defensive seawall, a picturesque promenade, and a historic site. Ammunition was stored here during the Civil War, and wartime cannons and cannon balls dot the landscape. The park offers striking views of both the peninsula’s coastline and some of the city’s most beautiful historic 19th century mansions.

Middleton Place: This historic plantation was built in the 1730s, and features the oldest landscaped gardens in the U.S. It served as home to a prominent Charleston family whose members played a key role in America’s early history. Burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War and toppled by an earthquake in 1886, the Plantation was restored in the early 1900s, and is now a museum that welcomes visitors.

Fort Sumter National Monument: This Federal fort sparked the start of the Civil War, when Confederate soldiers fired on and eventually captured it. Union soldiers would spend the next four years trying to capture it.

Charles Towne Landing: This State Historic Site is well worth a visit for history lovers and kids of all ages. The site’s most exciting attraction is a village that recreates life as it was for early settlers, complete with a 17th century replica of a ship and functional cannons that are regularly fired for spectators. There are also nature trails for hiking and a natural habitat zoo that features native wildlife.

Europe 2014: Au Revoir, Paris!

With Eiffel Tower's beauty, you wouldn't be surprised that seeing it was the last thing that we did before leaving the beautiful city of Paris. For one last look, we said our goodbyes to Eiffel...

Dear Paris, you are absolutely beautiful. I will surely be back to see you again. Hopefully soon.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: All I Can Do

With a beautiful day today, all I can do is say thank you...

Beautiful song by Mikeschair. ♥

Have a nice Sunday, everyone! (*wink*)

Children are like Butterflies

A Child is like a butterfly in the wind. Some can fly higher than others, But each one flies the best it can.

Why compare one against the other?

Each one is different.

Each one is special.

Each one is beautiful.